John Birges Sr.
John Birges Sr.
Sep. 06, 1996
STATELINE, Nev. (AP) _ John Birges Sr., who was convicted of masterminding a $3 million extortion attempt that led to a huge explosion in 1980 at a Lake Tahoe hotel-casino, died in a Nevada prison of liver cancer. He was 74.
Birges died last week at the Southern Nevada Correctional Center in Jean, 16 years and one day after a 1,000-pound, homemade bomb was rolled into Harvey's Resort Hotel-Casino with an extortion note.
Birges was convicted in 1981 on federal bombing and extortion charges. In 1985 he was convicted on related state charges. In 1993, he was transferred to the state prison system in ill health.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) _ Cleo H. Bivens Glass, who won national recognition in 1971 when she signed her first teaching contract at age 57, died Saturday. She was 81.
When the former maid, hotel elevator operator and assembly-line worker began teaching first grade in the Indianapolis public school system, newspapers around the country published articles about her late start. President Nixon even sent her a note of congratulations.
She taught first grade for 11 years.
WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) _ Delaware's jazz legend Robert ``Boysie'' Lowery, who taught scores of students how to improvise, has died at age 82.
Lowery, a saxophonist, died Monday at his home in Wilmington.
Lowery taught for more than 50 years and one of his early students was the late Clifford Brown, hailed as one of the best trumpeters in jazz history. Brown died in an auto accident in 1956.
DETROIT (AP) _ Theodore Wilk, a former Michigan state representative, died Tuesday of a hemorrhage. He was 84.
Wilk served in the Legislature from 1949 to 1954 and worked on legislation that allowed Wayne State University to achieve state university status.
``He didn't graduate from college, but he always took great pride in what Wayne State had become,'' said his son, Michael Wilk.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) _ Rose Williams, the sister of Tennessee Williams who often served as the late playwright's muse, died Wednesday of natural causes at the age of 87.
In the late 1930s, when a young Tennessee Williams was away at college, his parents gave their consent for Rose to have a prefrontal lobotomy to cure a worsening case of schizophrenia.
The operation did not succeed, and Rose was institutionalized for the rest of her life. The tragedy stayed with Tennessee Williams until his death in 1983.
``Rose became something of a muse for him,'' said Wyatt Prunty, director of the Sewanee Writer's Conference. ``Shy and withdrawn as a young woman, she became the model for the sister in `The Glass Menagerie.'''